Commerce city - The Rocky Mountain Cup may be important to Rapids fans, but coach Pablo Mastroeni wasn't fazed by the Rapids' 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake on Saturday night at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, the team's second loss of three games that determine the Cup's winner.
"We can't control results and that trophy is about results," Mastroeni said. "I'm not worried about the Rocky Mountain Cup, I am worried about building something sustainable and then all the results will be a byproduct of that. ... You want to build a team, you want to be the San Antonio Spurs of the MLS. Something that can last, that no one talks about and that no one cares about but win on a consistent basis."
The Rapids have only won two of their last nine matches.
Real Salt Lake controlled the first 15 minutes of the game, and scored in the 14th minute when defender Chris Wingert passed to midfielder Javi Morales. Morales' goal was his second against the Rapids this season - he scored in Real Salt Lake's win over Colorado on May 17.
"After we got scored on, everyone woke up and wanted to get on the ball," Mastroeni said.
One goal down, Colorado came alive and had arguably their best scoring chance in the 27th minute when forward Deshorn Brown positioned himself in front of Real Salt Lake's goal and looked to have a clear shot. But Brown missed and the ball soared over the bar.
Real Salt Lake defender Aaron Maund tackled forward Vicente Sanchez on a breakaway. Maund received a red card for the tackle and Salt Lake was faced with playing down to 10 men with 40-plus minutes remaining.
"When you go up a man, it changes a lot of things," midfielder Dillon Powers said. "As a player you don't find the spots you might normally find or don't play the game the same way, so it's definitely a curveball."
Real Salt Lake's defenders were relentless, shutting down every Colorado shot.
Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando tied an MLS record with his 112th shutout.
Colorado had many more good chances to score, but couldn't put one away.
"In those situations it's all about chance," Mastroeni said. "You put the ball in a dangerous area and sometimes it bounces your way and sometimes it doesn't."